Dr. Iwach delivered the welcome address at the Gala.
Vicente Anido Jr., PhD, and Thomas A. Mitro, from Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc., received the Catalyst Award, the highest honor bestowed by the GRF. Dr. Graves presented the award in recognition of their advancement of new therapies for patients with glaucoma and partnership of the education and research programs.
“It is a great pleasure to recognize Dr. Anido Jr., and Mr. Mitro, and the entire Aerie team for building a new pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel medications to treat glaucoma, as well as for for their significant partnership and support for the Glaucoma Research Foundation and our mission of education and research,” Brunner said.
The foundation’s Visionary Award was given to Paul A. Sieving, MD, PhD, for his leadership of the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the launch of the Institute’s Audacious Goals Initiative for Regenerative Medicine that strives to replace glaucomatous retinal cells and restore their connection to the visual center of the brain.
In reflecting on the Visionary Award, Brunner noted that Dr. Sieving recently retired as director of the NEI after serving for 18 years.
“During his tenure, his leadership kept the NEI on the front lines of vision research, supporting cutting-edge projects to prevent, treat, and reverse vision loss,” he said. “With this award, we recognize Paul for his tremendous sight-saving achievements."
Dr. Sieving has joined the faculty of the University of California Davis Health Eye Center, where he is continuing his research.